Pukalani Solar Power Information & Peak Sun Hours
Solar Green Energy Summary for Pukalani, Hawaii
Fixed Tilt Sunlight Hours: 5.4 hours per day
1-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 7 hours per day
2-Axis Tilt Sunlight Hours: 8.3 hours per day
Peak sun hours is one of the most important criteria to examine when considering installing a solar power system. Peak sun hours are different than total sunlight hours in a day because the strength of the radiation of the sun varies throughout the day. For example, during sunrise and sunset the solar insolation from the sun is less powerful than at noon. For a moment of sunshine to be considered a peak sun hour the intensity needs to be at least 1 kilowatt per square meter. This means that a square meter of your solar panel should be receiving 1 kilowatt of energy from the sun. This number is used because it is an amount of light that allows a solar panel to produce output efficiently and not under perform due to lack of sunlight power.
Your latitude is an indicator of when the sunrises and sunsets and certain times of the year. If you live near the equator with a latitude of near zero, the sun will rise and set close to the same time all year resulting in consistent total sunlight hours per day. If you live near the poles, the time of sunrise and sunset will vary dramatically with each season, resulting in long days for part of the year and very short days at other times. So, locations closer to the equator will have more consistent amounts of peak sun hours throughout the year than locations closer to the poles.
Throughout the day the sun obviously moves throughout the Pukalani sky. The suns position in the sky also changes throughout the year with the seasons. A fixed solar panel does not accommodate for these changes. However, a 1-axis panel rotates and follows the sun’s path during the day. A 2-axis panel both follows the sun’s daily path as well as the seasonal differences
The sunrise and sunset is very predictable every day, but things like cloud coverage and weather are less predictable and vary daily and annually. If a location that is usually very sunny experiences a huge increase in storms and cloud coverage in a given year than the average peak sun hours for that day or year will probably decrease. Tall objects such as trees and buildings can block out the sun during high solar insolation times, so be sure to strategically place your solar panels to get better efficiency.
We can use previous years of data to estimate the amount of peak sun hours in Pukalani. A fixed tilt mount for example will receive 5.4 average hours per day. For more efficiency for your system in Pukalani you could use a 1-axis tracking mount and increase your daily peak sun average to 7 hours, or even further with a 2-axis panel to get an average of 8.3 hours.
Helpful & Interesting
We built a 3150 sq/ft home in 2014 all on one level and our average gas/electric bill in the summer is $75 - $85 and $90 - $120 in the winter. We did install some energy efficient features which gives us a lower monthly utility bill. We are in the Southeast and keep our thermostat at 72 in warm months and 69 in cooler months 24/7.